United Arab Emirates (UAE), who made their debut in the qualifying stages of International Cricket Council’s (ICC) mega event, played some quality cricket to beat the China women’s team in a five-over-per side match due to overnight rain by 16 runs. In the other match of the day, Hong Kong fought back well to beat Malaysia by 35 runs to inch one step closer to securing the top two spot. The third match of the day which was slated to take place between Thailand and Nepal finished as a no-result after playing 3.4 overs in the second innings.
The first match between China and UAE got delayed due to heavy downpour the last night and the match was eventually reduced to five overs a side. Humaria Tasneen, the captain of the UAE side elected to bat first as they didn’t want to change their strategy even though the overs were reduced. Later on, she said that it was their plan to score eight runs per over and restrict the opponent within five runs per over. The UAE players carried out the plan to perfection as they scored 40 runs for the loss of 1 wicket and restricted the China side within 24 runs as they won their first ever match by 16 runs.
It was one of the memorable days in the history of UAE women’s cricket as they defeated one of the powerhouses of women’s cricket China in their very first in an ICC event. The standard of UAE cricket is certainly on a high as they have been successful in several Gulf tournaments. The chairman of the selection committee also pointed out that it is their goal to feature in 2018 ICC World T20.
In another match of the day, Hong Kong recovered well as they posted a challenging score of 77 runs for 7 wickets in their quota of 20 over. From 24 for 5, wicket-keeper-batsman Jenefer Davies (29) played an important partnership of 47 runs with Sze Win Yap to take their team to a safe situation. Zayani Syamimi from Malaysia was the pick of the bowlers as she picked up four wickets for 13 runs. Malaysia was bowled out for 42 runs as Hong Kong were brilliant on the field and they recorded three run-outs. Chan Sau Har and Marina Lamplough both picked two for eight to give Hong Kong an important victory by 35 runs.
In the third match and final match of the day Thailand took on Nepal and the hosts who was one of the favorites of the tournament was keen to get a good start. The Thailand women’s were given a tough challenge by Nepal as they lost five wickets for 42 before posting 90 for six in their 20 overs thanks to a valuable knock of unbeaten 23 from Naruemol Chaiwai. The sky was overcast as Nepal started their chase and rain finally played a spoilsport after 3.4 overs with the score of 10 for no wicket. Players and officials remained at the ground but the chances of starting the match looked impossible and the umpires finally called off the match with both sides receiving a point each.
It has been a good start to the Asia qualifiers as UAE and Hong Kong have registered their first win and by the competitive cricket the women’s has played, it will be an entertaining week for the cricket lovers.